Squatters in Chief Kapatamoyo to lose farm land

Squatters in Chief Kapatamoyo’s area in Chipata may lose part of their farm land to accommodate a garbage dumpsite.

During a cholera update meeting yesterday, Chipata City Council District Planning Officer Edward Zulu, says officers, who visited the site for the new dumpsite found that a larger piece of land was occupied by maize fields.

He says that his office will re-engage Chief Kapatamoyo to help identify the owners of those fields and negotiate with them to vacate the area soon after harvesting their fields.

Mr. Zulu also indicated that the local authority is currently looking for extra 10 hectors of land for the dump site.

He explained that the council is still having challenges with some people, who are dumping garbage along the Kagunda road.

Mr. Zulu says that to avoid this, the council will engage local people to help direct trucks to the current dumpsite.

NDC says Kalaba is not our member

The National Democratic Alliance NDC says that former Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba is not their member.

In a statement availed to Breeze News, NDC National Youth Chairman Charles Kabwita says that Mr. Kalaba is however, free to join the party if he so wishes.

And Mr. Kabwita has distanced the NDC from a group of individuals that are spearheading the formation of a new political party.

He says that the party has intelligence information that the political party might be led by Mr. Kalaba, who is Bahati Member of Parliament.

Mr. Kabwita says that he would like to advise NDC members countrywide not to fall prey to such individuals championing the formation of this party.

He has charged that those handling Mr. Kalaba should stop masquerading as NDC members.

Mr. Kabwita says that Roan Member of Parliament Chishimba Kambwili is still and remains NDC consultant.

However, on Thursday Mr. Kalaba said that he had no intentions of joining NDC and had not yet decided to form his own political party.

Kalaba maintains corruption in government

Former Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba has maintained that swelling levels of corruption in government forced him to abandon his ministerial position.

And Mr. Kalaba says that permanent secretaries in the country have been reduced into political cadres who dance for the president at airports.

Speaking during a special Hot Seat Programme on HOT FM in Lusaka, which was broadcast live on Breeze FM this morning, Mr. Kalaba says that he could not work with a government that sides with minority businessmen instead of the majority Zambians.

He dismissed statements that Malawian Prophet Shepard Bushiri of Enlightened Christian Gathering in South Africa had influenced him to resign from government because of prophesy that he will become republican president.

Mr. Kalaba revealed that he had serious problems with government projects and contracts like the purchase of 42 fire tenders, the construction of the Lusaka-Ndola dual carriageway and auction of Mkula logs through ZAFFICO.

He pointed out the procurement of the 1.2 billion United States dollars Lusaka-Ndola dual carriageway, which he says could have been done at a lesser cost through PPP, Private Public Partnership.

Mr. Kalaba says a bidder had won the bid on PPP arrangement at half the price but government opted to obtain a loan at huge cost.

And Mr. Kalaba says that permanent secretaries should be appointed through the normal civil service unlike presidential appointments.

He noted that permanent secretaries are currently forced to please the appointing authorities, which makes them go to the extent of dancing at airports for the president.

The former minister however defended presidential foreign trips stating that the country needs to be marketed.

Meanwhile Mr. Kalaba has maintained that he will not resign from his position as Member of Parliament for Bahati Constituency because the PF, Patriotic Front Party is separate from government.

He says that this is why people from other political parties like the MMD have been appointed ministers.

And the Bahati law maker has condemned political violence and politics of tribalism and regionalism, stating that it will not assist Zambia in any way.

He also distanced himself from NDC, the National Democratic Congress           Party, stating that he has no intentions of joining the Chishimba Kambwili led political party.

Two men discharged of murder case

Two men of Lundazi district, who were facing one count of murder, have been discharged by the Chipata High Court.

This was after the state entered a Nolle Prosequi in the matter.

Facts before the court are that James Msimuko and Tulason Mtonga, on 18th August, 2016 in Lundazi district, murdered Maston Mtonga.

Lusaka based Judge Mwape Dancewell Bowa who released the two after the application made by the state, however said that the discharge is not an acquittal.

Judge Bowa said the two are free for now, but that they can be re-arrested anytime if there will be sufficient evidence against them.

The two showed a faint smile as they walked to freedom from the dock.

Cement prices go down

Prices for cement have continued to reduce in Chipata district.

A check by Breeze News in some shops revealed that the price of the commodity, which had gone up to 95 Kwacha per 50 kilogramme bag is now at 75 Kwacha.

Dealers spoken to attributed the price reduction to a downward price adjustment by wholesalers.

And some of the residents found buying the commodity expressed happiness that different brands of cement were now selling at the same price.

John Mwanza explained that he had to suspend his construction works when the price of cement had hit 95 Kwacha because he could not afford.

Meanwhile a check on the exchange rate found that the United States dollar is now buying at 9 Kwacha 60 Ngwee and selling at 9 Kwacha 87 Ngwee while the Pound is buying at 13 Kwacha 51 Ngwee and selling at 13 Kwacha 78 Ngwee.

The Euro is buying at 11 Kwacha 98 Ngwee and selling at 12 Kwacha 22 Ngwee while the South Africa Rand is buying at 80 Ngwee and selling at 82 Ngwee.

Four families stranded after heavy rains

Four families in Makangila ward of Luangeni Constituency are reported to be squatting in other people’s homes after their houses were destroyed by heavy rains a month ago.

Makangila Ward Councilor Daniel Mwanza told Breeze News that the families have become destitute because DMMU, the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit has not responded to their plight.

Mr. Mwanza says that the houses for the affected families had their roofs blown off by the heavy rains.

He says that, despite having reported the issue and making follow ups with DMMU to see how the affected families could be assisted, nothing has been done to date.

Mr. Mwanza says that since the incident happened, the affected families have been relying on begging for food, shelter and other necessities from neighbors for them to survive.

The incident, which happened on the 9th of January 2018, also affected two churches whose roofs were blown off while 200 chickens died on the spot after the chicken run collapsed.

And Chipata District Commissioner Kalunga Zulu, denied receiving a report on the matter.

He however, confirmed seeing a letter with a similar issue but that the letter was not addressed to him and it did not indicate where the incident happened.

Mr. Zulu stated that any disaster related issues in the district should be addressed to him, as he is the chairperson for the DMMU committee.

Fishermen in Chipata defy fish ban

Illegal fishing activities in Chipata district have continued despite a fish ban.

District Fisheries Officer Zacheus Nkunika has confirmed, stating that some fishermen have completely ignored the fish ban, which started in December last year and will end in March.

Mr. Nkunika says that a lot of fish species in the country breed between December and March and that the fish ban is meant to enable the fish to breed without interference from people.

He says that the department has carried out sensitization on the importance of the fish ban and continued to carry out patrols of all the areas where fishing activities usually take place.

Mr. Nkunika however, says that the Fisheries Department has been unable to carry out many patrols, as they do not have adequate funding from the government.

He further says that although the Fisheries Department has made a number of arrests, no one has been convicted as they were all just warned and released.

The district fisheries officer has appealed to people to desist from any illegal fishing activities because it is a crime adding that anyone involved, will be arrested and prosecuted in the courts of law.

Chipata Mchinji- TAZARA rail project on course

Government says that three point two billion United States dollars railway line from Nacala port that will connect Eastern Province to TAZARA is on course.

Speaking in an interview with Breeze News, Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo says that the project which is supposed to run for four years is just in its first year, most of which will be used for mobilization.

He says the feasibility study for the railway line has already been done and what is remaining now is for the design to be finished.

Mr. Kasolo says the railway line will pass through the Muchinga Escarpment, which is one of the most unfriendly terrains in the country.

He says once the designs and other things that need to be mobilized are done, construction works of the railway line are expected to move quickly.

The Permanent Secretary says that the railway line will create jobs and help in developing the province and the country as a whole as transportation of goods will also be made easier and cheaper.

High defilement cases in Eastern Province worry the Judiciary.

The Judiciary says it is worried with the increase in the number of defilement cases reported in Eastern province.

Speaking during official opening of the Chipata High Court yesterday, Lusaka based Judge Mwape Dancewell Bowa says according to the cause list for the High Court Session, defilement has continued to be a greatest problem in communities.

Judge Bowa says defilement attracts a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years imprisonment with hard labour, and an upper limit of up to life imprisonment.

He says that in spite of the stiff punishment, there is no reduction in the crime, stating that it is time for society to ask themselves whether there is need to revisit the law to address the vice.

Judge Bowa says that there is also need for a mechanism of dealing with the victims of the crime, who remain traumatized.

And Judge Bowa says the province has also seen an increase in the number of Gender Based Violence cases.

He says according to statistics, the court dealt with 66 cases in 2015 and that the number increased to 70 in 2016, while in 2017, 78 cases were dealt with by the court.

Judge Bowa has commended government and other cooperating partners such as the United Kingdom and the United Nation for putting up a GBV fast truck court, currently under construction in Chipata.

He says the court once completed, will help to quickly deal with GBV cases in the province.

Civil Service Commission assures civil servants

The Civil Service Commission says it will attend to all challenges civil servants face in their respective sectors.

Civil Service Commission Chairperson Dickson Kayula Chasaya says civil servants need to be motivated because they play an important role in communities.

He says that there is need for government to give civil servants the much needed attention they deserve.

Mr. Chasaya says this is why the commission is currently getting submissions from civil servants across the country on what challenges they are facing in different sectors.

He said this when he paid a curtesy call on Provincial Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo this morning.

And Mr. Chasaya says district commissioners and permanent secretaries are free to release information to the media.

Mr. Chasaya has maintained that no civil servant will be allowed to discuss government business on social media.

And Provincial Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo says the commission plays an important role in guiding civil servants in the country.

He says the civil servants in the province are therefore, expecting a lot from the commission.